The sport of gymnastics is, in this modern day, one of the most closely followed sports. True gymnastics fans always have very strong opinions about who is the best, and who deserves the most fame and glory.
It’s a sport of pure grace, but it’s also incredibly rigorous. The amount of strength that gymnastics competitors need to accomplish what they do is absolutely insane. Sure, every sport requires a ton of discipline, especially at the Olympic level, of course! But, with gymnastics, the athletes have to be able to exert a huge amount of power, skill, and force, all while appearing as light as a feather and as graceful as a ballerina (who also are incredible athletes)!
Diehard gymnastics fans, the fans that have been around for a while, often have the same opinion that the greatest, most graceful athlete of the sport is Nadia Comăneci of Romania. She’s a five-time Olympic gold medalist, and she was the first to score a perfect ten during the games.
As all things do, the sport has made advances over the decades since Nadia Comăneci has been on the floor, going through the motions of her routines. The athletes today, such as Simone Biles, Gabby Douglas, and Aly Raisman are all incredibly powerful and talented. It’s really amazing to see what these young women can do with their bodies, which are impressively muscular compared to what gymnasts in the past used to look like. These modern athletes show that it pays to be strong, and that alone is a great message to send to young women.
However, there are many people that say that Nadia Comăneci was and still is the greatest gymnast of all time.
She was always able to display the utmost grace and to make every difficult move look as effortless as lifting a pencil. Sure, there are more difficult routines and more complicated moves in today’s competitive gymnastics environment, but it’s difficult to find someone who is able to consistently deliver this effortless grace as Nadia Comăneci did in her day.
This balance beam routine from Montreal in 1976 is one of those flawless moments in her career. One YouTube commenter said that,
“There are very few moments where large international crowds are dead silent, Nadia Comaneci doing her beam routine is just one of those few moments”
It’s true. How often do you come across a stadium packed full of this many people in this state of silence and anticipation? Whenever she competed, the crowd was absolutely on the edge of their collective seat.
Another YouTube commenter noted,
“When the scoreboard flashed 10, the crowd’s roar…. Nadia’s little ‘waw!’ when she saw it… the general atmosphere… I got goosebumps!!”
I think there are a lot of people who will get goosebumps when they watch the video below!
What do you think? Is she the greatest gymnast of all time? Do you think that she deserves all the hype, especially in today’s world of gymnastics, where the skills are more complicated and the stakes are arguably higher?
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